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Is Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, dramatically better than Trey Lance?

Jayden Daniels
Is Jayden Daniels a better prospect than Trey Lance? Former NFL scout Daniel Kelly thinks Daniels has a better game than Lance.

There is no comparison, ASU quarterback (QB) Jayden Daniels is better than QB Trey Lance, who was taken 2nd overall in this past draft. 

I am amazed at how the hype machine gets a hold of some of these guys and ignores others. It must have something to do with money and politics – – that is my best guess.

As a guy who looked Bill Belichick in the eyes and convinced him to hire me, let me say Daniels is superior to Lance in every way. Daniels can actually make a defender miss in the open field. 49ers’ head coach Kyle Shanahan would have looked like a genius, had he waited a year and selected Daniels instead of Lance. 

Daniels could have come into San Francisco and actually run that two-QB system entrusted to Lance with Jimmy Garoppolo. 

If I am the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals or the Philadelphia Eagles, I am doing everything I can to select Daniels in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft. Daniels can plug in behind Kyler Murray or Jalen Hurts, and either of those teams would be set.

I do not understand what I am hearing from other “draft experts,” and other trusted sites. Bleacher Report has Daniels ranked as their 7th best QB and Sports Illustrated said Daniels possibly could go in the fifth round. 

Let me step in and say this – – I am going to give Daniels the highest grade anyone has given him. Daniels is my 4th QB on my draft board behind Matt Corral, Carson Strong, and Desmond Ridder. 

Give me Daniels any day of the week over QB’s Kenny Pickett or Sam Howell. 

Daniels has dramatically more energy than Pickett and Howell. I want someone under center who lifts my offense and someone who plays like he wants to win. 

It starts with the eyes – – you can always read a QB by his eyes. Daniels just looks alert and smart. He has a lot of brightness in his eyes. 

Do not get hung up on the stats either with Daniels. College productivity can be very deceiving. See Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. ASU runs the ball a lot and features running back Rachaad White who is closing in on a 1,000 yard season and they have other runners also who have over 600 yards combined on the ground. ASU does not put everything on Daniels. 

#5 Jayden Daniels 6-foot-3, 185 pounds 

40-yard-dash-time: 4.5 per

Daniel Kelly’s draft board: late 2nd-3rd round

NFL comparable: Has some RGIII and Randall Cunningham in him. 

Good fit: Eagles, Cardinals, Lions, Seahawks, Bears, Dolphins, Ravens, Chiefs and Saints 

2021 Film Exposure: BYU, Stanford, Utah and Washington 

Level of Competition: Good 

Chief Concern: Ball placement downfield. 8 TD/8 INT 2021 (to date). 

Character Concerns: (indirect) It was reported his mother aided ASU in alleged recruiting violations 

Probability of being a bust: Low 

Scouting Report

Lean, athletic and smooth looking true dual threat with an NFL arm and average ball placement downfield. Runs offense primarily out of shotgun. Excellent ball handling and play-action fake. Good fundamentals, does not pat the ball pre-delivery. Runs a mean-looking option RPO type of attack. Excellent pocket mobility can move and release on run. Can make defenses adjust to him. Can extend plays and make it more challenging for defenders to stay with coverages. Best throws are the slant and crossing routes. Fluid. Takes too many sacks with his mobility. Looks effortless releasing. Reminds me of Cunningham that way. Pretty release. Can snap it off. Needs to consistently release faster. Best route levels are short and deep. Has the arm to fit it into tight coverage at the intermediate route level. Not afraid of throwing it into the middle part of the field. Inconsistent ball placement downfield and ball does tend to sail high on him. Throws some pretty deep passes. Can drop it into the breadbasket. Shows touch short and deep. Poised. Does not ever seem to get rattled. Shows some passion, but even tempered and he runs the the attack with energy and tempo. Does not make stupid or reckless decisions. Good back-up prospect. 

While I believe the Lions are going to have to draft QB Malik Willis #1 overall because he would be the most dynamic player Detroit has had since Barry Sanders, Daniels is a better pure passer and runner than Willis. 

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK. 

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